Ideas on how to capitalize on seasonal eCommerce sales


Here are some trends and tactics to remember as you plan your holiday promotions. Assuming, of course, your webstore features and functionality are in place.

A quick list to note

  • Holiday merchandising is critical!
  • Sale of online gift cards will represent a substantial uptake this year
  • Key word marketing or Search marketing is the number 1 traffic driver of online gift giving (search marketing can represent up to 30% uplift in conversion)
  • Manage customer frustration by informing your customers of holiday product order and shipping deadlines
  • Promoting free shipping!

Online Merchandising Tactics

  • Limited-time special will create a sense of urgency to drive conversion (i.e. one day only sale)
  • Drive higher average order value with “Give more, save more” promotions
  • Merchandise using search landing pages – do not send your customer to your homepage (landing pages show higher ranking & conversion)
  • Recommend products for the “gift challenged” (i.e. great gift for under $50)
  • Cross-sell to increase order value of those customers who are buying
  • Use the calendar approach to promote countdown to Xmas and cut offs dates for shipping
  • Gift finder tools work for the struggling gift giver
  • Promote last minute shopping across channels – buy online and pick up in store

For the Time Saver customer more concerned with saving time, than saving money

  • Market to the convenience minded customer by employing a gifting section of your website
  • Merchandise your gift cards as best you can and make them easy to buy (1 page check out for gift cards is the ultimate objective)
  • Suggest conveniences for last minute customers – promote your easy return policy
  • Feature hot holiday gifts – reinforce that the gifter is giving the right gift
  • Monitor live chat in real-time to see what your customers are having problems with and fix it immediately

For the Information Seeking customer

  • Use paid Search to capitalize on 66% of customers who will search online for information (up 55% from last year)
  • Peer to peer information is a key driver (fire up the blog with interesting topics to encourage your customers to discuss recommendations)
  • Merchandise and promote last minute gift ideas
  • As we get closer to Xmas focus on driving customers in-store

Gifting tools to monitor

  • Multiple ship to’s
  • Use wish lists + drive the sharing of wish lists

Email Strategies

  • Targeted email campaigns are key drivers for gifting traffic – email works!
  • Promote gift cards though targeted email
  • Frequency is valuable (use an average of 3 emails per customer over Xmas season)
  • Create email incentives to drive customers to think about Xmas early (try a secret sale for select customers)
  • Consider a friends and family email promo for registered or prospect customers (give your customers a reason to shop online)
  • Promote free shipping (again!)

Finally, take advantage of prospect collection in high traffic season, so come January, you’re ready with your targeted emails to drive conversion… Didn’t get what you wanted for Xmas? Buy it for yourself.

Happy selling!

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